Deputy Sheriff Basil S. Stakes

Deputy Sheriff Basil S. Stakes

Orange County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch Saturday, February 14, 1925

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Basil S. Stakes

Two meat markets were having a business feud over territory. A confrontation occurred where two employees were shot and killed by two employees of the rival company.

Deputies W. C. Woods, Basil S. “Shorty” Stakes and citizen Arthur Sanders attempted to arrest the two men. While accounts vary, the two suspects resisted arrest and one of the suspects had a pistol and other suspect had a rifle. Deputy Stakes took a rifle away from one of the men and was using it to subdue them when it either accidentally discharged, or one of the men shot him with a .38 caliber revolver. Deputy Stakes was shot in the face just under his left eye, and he died at the scene.

The Grand Jury met two days later and indicted both men. The two men - Frank Wilkes and Herbert Batchan - were tried, convicted and sentenced to death several days later for killing the two business rivals. Both men appealed. In a second trial, Wilkes was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the death of Deputy Stakes, but the case was reversed and remanded in 1926. Wilkes died in prison during his appeals on March 1, 1926. Batchan’s death sentence was also reversed and remanded. On March 18, 1927, he was convicted a second time and sentenced to 25 years. He was paroled on March 22, 1934.

Stakes was 29 years old at the time of his death. There was no mention of any surviving wife or children. He was survived by his parents. He was buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Orange, Texas.


  • Age 29
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Sentenced to death

Most Recent Reflection

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Heroes live forever, Deputy Stakes, and we will never forget. Thank you for the sacrifice you made for the citizens of Orange County and the great State of Texas.

Greater Houston C.O.P.S.

February 14, 2013

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